Philanthropy Podcasts

Would you listen to a Podcast interview with someone who had something interesting to say about philanthropy? Let’s assume you could just click on a link to launch the interview and didn’t have to download anything to iTunes. Would you do it? Who would you like to hear interviews with?

Tom Belford at The Agitator recently criticized Podcasts as the “The Segway of New Media”. Is he right? What’s interesting is that Tom cites a Business Week article that doubts the relevance of Podcasts, yet Business Week has their own philanthropy Podcast series (and this week features an interview with 21/64’s Sharna Goldseker). Elsewhere, we have 501c3 Cast, Britt Bravo’s Big Vision Podcast and a number of nonprofits who are Podcasting to their donors.

What if you had access to interviews with people who are movers and shakers in the philanthropic world? Would you listen in? Who would you want to hear? Let me know.


  1. As with all new technologies, it has less to do with content than with ease of access. If my i-Pod could automatically upload (via Bluetooth, say) the Podcasts I had subscribed to, and it could alert me to their presence during my next workout, of course I would listen to them. But if I have to plug my i-Pod in to my computer, fire up my computer, launch my browser, navigate to my aggregator, etc. then no, it’s not worth it.

    It’s all about putting as few barriers between my desire for content and the content itself. If I could just say it, or even think it, to make it so …

  2. As the producer of a podcast (thanks for the link btw), it might actually surprise you that I agree with Tom’s Segway analogy in some ways. Podcasting hasn’t matched the hype that it initially received from mass media when it first hit the scenes. Though the general public has heard of podcasting, it still isn’t part of most people’s every day lives. But I think that those who have adopted the medium (as producers and listeners/viewers) would argue that it has greatly changed the way they consume media.

    Podcasting is better suited to serve the long tail, niche groups with special interests. As publishing and listening tools continue to get better, I think we will see the medium fill that role even better. This is where the nonprofit sector can benefit from podcasting. Syndicated media that is cheep, effective, and easy to share.

  3. Your site looks terrific. Great to see the wide range of topics in philanthropy represented here. I am recording my first podcast today so I am in the thick of your question (and maybe some actual insights soon.) Two comments: 1.) I am thinking of podcasts more as streaming media that you can listen to as a different voice when you get to someone’s web page. The podcasts I am doing will be offered by Community Foundations of America to community foundations as a way to spice up their websites. 2.) The Business Week series is sooo poorly produced (they don’t even edit out the phone ringing at the beginning of an interview!) I think these things have got to get to the point quickly and let listeners know why might want to hang on.
    (And thanks for the link!)

  4. Podcasts–although a “new” technology–are really just a return to the oral tradition in a high tech package. All interesting audio is based on story, and that would be the value to me…freeing stories about philanthropy from various perspectives. I’d want to hear from donors, beneficiaries, nonprofits, foundations, government officials…they all make up the “world” of philanthropy and have stories to contribute.

    It’ll always be a niche market, but for those of us in it, I feel it would have tremendous value.